Active plasma experiments in space involve artificial generation of a plasma and observation of its interaction with the spacecraft and with the environment, making possible to investigate plasma regimes that cannot be maintained in ground facilities. Production of an “artificial magnetosphere” is presently considered as a viable way to generate a whole range of artificial plasma phenomena in space: a magnetized plasma bubble is generated around a spacecraft, providing the opportunity of studying the nonlinear interaction of two magnetized streaming plasmas (the artificial and the ionospheric) in a controlled setting and in the absence of external conductors that, in the laboratory, would destroy their dynamics. This paper deals with the preliminary design of a small satellite mission for active magnetic plasma experiments compatible with the constraints of an Ariane 5 auxiliary payload. The proposed mission profile allows the spacecraft to spend most of its life into the Van Allen belts, providing for detailed mapping of the radiation effects on the onboard electronics and solar cells. The mission results also in substantial flight test for a novel low power Hall effect thruster specifically designed for next generation’s small satellite buses

Active Plasma Experiments in Space: a Small Satellite Mission

MARCUCCIO, SALVO;PEGORARO, FRANCESCO
2008

Abstract

Active plasma experiments in space involve artificial generation of a plasma and observation of its interaction with the spacecraft and with the environment, making possible to investigate plasma regimes that cannot be maintained in ground facilities. Production of an “artificial magnetosphere” is presently considered as a viable way to generate a whole range of artificial plasma phenomena in space: a magnetized plasma bubble is generated around a spacecraft, providing the opportunity of studying the nonlinear interaction of two magnetized streaming plasmas (the artificial and the ionospheric) in a controlled setting and in the absence of external conductors that, in the laboratory, would destroy their dynamics. This paper deals with the preliminary design of a small satellite mission for active magnetic plasma experiments compatible with the constraints of an Ariane 5 auxiliary payload. The proposed mission profile allows the spacecraft to spend most of its life into the Van Allen belts, providing for detailed mapping of the radiation effects on the onboard electronics and solar cells. The mission results also in substantial flight test for a novel low power Hall effect thruster specifically designed for next generation’s small satellite buses
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/200460
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